As you probably all know, Mt. Eccles is going to get completely renovated starting next year. All of the old parts of the school will get remade just like new and a Gym will be added on the uphill side to the east.
Even though the bond election just passed a month ago, we have already been working on the Mt. Eccles project for about a year. So, in some ways this blog is starting in the middle rather than at the beginning! I will try to keep talking about what we are doing now with some glimpses backwards to show the work that has already taken place.
Most architectural projects can be broken down into 6 major phases. They are:
- Conceptual Design
- Schematic Design
- Design Development
- Construction Documents
- And then, of course, Construction
Basically, the design phases take a project from just a loose idea and turns it into set of drawings that describe every part of the project exactly. Right now we are just about halfway through the Schematic Design phase, so a lot of work has already occurred. The decisions to create a Gym and how much of the school to renovate were made during these earlier phases.
I was just in Cordova last week to show our work so far and ask for a major decision. We had two different designs and we had to choose just one to move forward.
One of the designs—Option 1–has the new gym up at the level of the second floor. Right off the top of the stairs there would be a new hallway that leads across the top of the Commons to the Gym. On top of the Commons we would add a new Music Room with a Stage that opens into the Gym. Option 1 would mean that the tall Gym would go across the whole south part of the playground.
Option 2 has the Gym down at the level of the Commons. We would make a new hallway off the back corner of the Commons which leads to the new Gym. The Music Room would be between the Commons and this new Gym. Option 2 has one very interesting advantage—because we are lowering the Gym, the playground could go on top of the roof! We would cover the roof of the Gym with gravel or some other surface and you could just walk straight onto it from the playground—you would not even know that you were standing on top of the Gym.
I made the presentation to the Facilities Committee, which is a group of Cordova people who are in charge of making the hard decisions for this project. The Committee is made up of several teachers, your Principal Mr. Wicks, and your Superintendent Mr. Nygaard among others. In the end, they decided to go with Option 2, so we will be proceeding with a design that has the lower gym and the playground up on the roof.
I hope you all have a good holidays and we’ll talk more in the new year!